AKA: Verbeck, Howard and Blanche, House, Central Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; 637 South Lucerne Boulevard House, Hancock Park, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Austin, John C.W. Architect (firm); John Corneby Wilson Austin (architect)

Dates: constructed 1902

3 stories, total floor area: 13,098 sq. ft.

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637 South Lucerne Boulevard
Central Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90005

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The Verbeck House, a notable Queen Anne mansion, dated from approximately 1897, according to David Gebhard and Robert Winter's Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, (p. 196). A 1923 article in the Los Angeles Evening Examiner, indicated that the house was built originally by a Colonel Higgins c. 1902 and was originally sited close by on Wilshire Boulevard.

Building History

Hiram Higgins and his wife erected this residence at 2619 Wilshire Boulevard during 1902. It was either completed in later 1902 or early 1903. A society note in the Los Angeles Evening Express said of the Higginses: "Mr. and Mrs. Lynd, formerly of Des Moines, IA., have bought a home on Rampart street, and while they are away on an Eastern trip it is let to Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Higgins, who are building on Wilshire Boulevard." (See "in the Realm of Society," Los Angeles Evening Express, 09/24/1902, p. 4.) Los Angeles city directories listed Hiram Higgins residing at 2619 Wilshire Boulevard between 1903 and 1905. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1903, p. 598 and Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1905, p. 687.)

Howard and Blanche Verbeck owned this residence between 1923 and 1952, at least. They had it moved from its original location on Wilshire Boulevard to 637 South Lucerne Boulevard on 06/29/1923. To mark the moving occasion, the Verbecks, notable socialites, had a farewell party that was covered in the Los Angeles Evening Express on 06/30/1923. This 1923 article described the party: "The party, which began at Wilshire boulevard at 11:30 last evening, was given in one of the landmarks of Los Angeles. The house of 24 rooms was built 22 years ago by Colonel Higgins for his own home and for many years was the largest and best known home in Los Angeles. It is the largest private home that has been moved in this city. Arriving at the new site a hot supper was served in the garage which had been moved and turned into living quarters until Mr. and Mrs. Verbeck's new home will be ready. Society had been given a thrill by the introduction of something entirely new in the way of entertainemnt and again Los Angeles has done something which it can ask the effete East to match." (See "Give 'Farewell' in Home Being Moved," Los Angeles Evening Express, 06/30/1923, p. 2.)

Building Notes

This grand Queen Anne Style house had an estimated value of $7.2 million in 2023. (See Compass.com, "637 South Lucerne Boulevard," accessed 01/18/2023.) At this time, it occupied a 18,900-square-foot (0.43-acre) lot.

Los Angeles County Assessor Number: 5505021016

PCAD id: 24475